Defeating poverty will be our shared victory.
“According to the 2017 Statistics Committee, poverty in Armenia is 25.7% while extreme poverty is 1.4%. Government policies are directed towards the enhancement of social assistance programs by providing non-financial support to those in need, strengthening available resources, providing services and social patronage among others. We believe that through jobs, we can defeat poverty. Our governmental program also includes the encouragement and help in finding employment as well as job creation. We are glad to apply World Vision Armenia’s experience to each of these fields, and, with this approach, utilize it in the poverty reduction policy,” announced Zaruhi Batoyan, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Armenia.
In January 2019, World Vision Armenia and My Step foundation signed an agreement to collaborate with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to begin work with 18 families living in extreme poverty as a part of the Poverty Reduction Program. The results of this program showed that the socio-economic status of these families have greatly improved, a number of health and living concerns have been resolved, and these families have regained strength and faith in their own abilities.
“We have received thousands of applications regarding social and health issues. We understood that our resources are not enough to satisfy even a small portion of them. We analyzed the experiences from local and international organizations and came to the conclusion that the philosophy of philanthropy has evolved. Lump-sum types of financial assistance are no longer effective in providing long term solutions and do not eliminate extreme poverty. Instead, we have found ways to work with World Vision Armenia, which has tried different methodologies over the years to come up with a model that has spread around the world and has even become part of state policy in some countries. This model provides a comprehensive toolkit and adjusts to be able to work with families and their different needs when designing individual development plans, allowing scarce resources to be used more efficiently,” says My Step foundation’s Executive Director Hovhannes Ghazaryan while explaining the importance of the collaboration and the effectiveness of the program.
My Step foundation and World Vision Armenia are working together to create a new action plan with the aim of launching the Poverty Reduction Program in Artsakh as well. On September 16th-17th, representatives from the organization travelled to Artsakh to have a joint meeting and discuss the program with Artsakh Republic President, Bako Sahakyan; Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, and Resettlement, Samvel Avanesyan and Human Rights Defender, Artak Beglaryan.
“World Vision Armenia’s experience has proven that defeating poverty is possible, but it cannot be done by just one organization or institution. It can only be achieved through collaborations between governmental and non-government organizations with the active efforts of those living in poverty themselves. I am pleased that, today, the government of Armenia is leading the efforts of providing opportunities to those in need to be able to combat their extreme poverty,” says Zhirayr Edilyan, Executive Director of World Vision Armenia during the press conference.